In the early morning hours of Dec. 2, the U.S. Senate passed tax reform legislation could have a wide-ranging impact on agents and brokers.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® the Senate bill “puts home values at risk and dramatically undercuts the incentive to own a home.”
According to NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation REALTOR® from Columbia, Mo., and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, REALTORS® will continue to work with members of the House and Senate as the process moves forward into a conference committee.
“The tax incentives to own a home are baked into the overall value of homes in every state and territory across the country,” she said. “When those incentives are nullified in the way this bill provides, our estimates show that home values stand to fall by an average of more than 10 percent, and even greater in high-cost areas.”
Mendenhall noted that NAR backs tax cuts when done in a fiscally responsible way; while there are some winners in this legislation, millions of middle-class homeowners would see very limited benefits, and many will even see a tax increase. In exchange for that, they’ll also see much or all of their home equity evaporate as $1.5 trillion is added to the national debt and piled onto the backs of their children and grandchildren.
“That’s a poor foot to put forward, but this isn’t the end of the road,” she said. “REALTORS® will continue to advocate for homeownership and hope members of the House and Senate will listen to the concerns of America’s 75 million homeowners as the tax reform discussion continues.”
Lawmakers are working to come up with one tax reform bill, reconciling the House and Senate versions.
“The operating assumption would be that the Senate’s provisions will be controlling,” said Jared Walczak, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.
However, that isn’t helping ease the worries of many in the real estate industry.
Joel Maher, president of the Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR), his group actively opposes the bill.
“Tax reform as proposed will have a jarring impact on the real estate industry across the country, and that will definitely be felt here at home,” he said.